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Learning to Code? Here’s How – And Why – You Should

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Apple’s latest developer conference saw the launch of a new educational initiative with Swift Playgrounds. The child-friendly app, to be released in the Australian spring, is going to help the tech giant introduce coding to people from a young age to better prepare the next generation of developers.

Native to iPad iOS, Swift Playgrounds will be a beautifully rendered learning tool that makes coding fun, whether the user is just starting out or they’re already a full stack developer. It’s already being touted as a valuable educational tool in the modern classroom.

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What is Swift and why is it so important?

Swift, Apple’s own language, can be used to create a variety of applications for Mac, iOS, Apple Watch and Apple TV. It’s an easy-to-write coding language that matches more closely with natural language – and Apple thinks it’s fun, too.

In the app, the user is guided through a series of step-by-step instructions in a gameplay-like app environment, which aims to introduce them to the basics of code. Users are expected to guide a virtual character through the world using lines of code and specialised commands, all written in Apple’s Swift coding language.

The language is a must for anyone wanting to develop apps and APIs that can integrate into Apple’s operating systems, and the technology company is ready to help you do it.

Why is learning to code so important?

We’ve seen the rise of the sharing economy with services like Airbnb and Uber, of smart homes and of wearable tech. With businesses gearing up for even more tech developments, our everyday lives will become even more intertwined with technology – and more likely our future jobs will rely on everyday coding.

Developers – and non-tech companies alike – will need to come up with clever new strategies to leverage the tech boom in their favour. By crafting amazing pieces of software, they’ll be able to capture new market segments and engage their attention. It’s a smart business move for profit driving and they’ll need an in-house team of developers to help them get there.

Although no one can predict exactly where the future of design and development will lie, it’s important that developers stay up to date. This translates to a thorough education in the foundations of code, which lays the foundations in employability in children.

The earlier they’re introduced, the more fluent they will become and the better prepared they’ll be for their future, where coding skills will be a base requirement for success.

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Expanding the skills of seasoned developers

Although it’s aimed at children, the app will be detailed enough that even seasoned developers can brush up on their coding skills, adding Apple’s proprietary language to their skillset.

What’s more, developers who can code in multiple languages have a keen advantage over their competition. Adding Swift into their list of languages means that they’ll become an even more indispensable part of their team.

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By Stefanie Kir


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